HS SWIMMING: Abington Heights Rallies Past Scranton Prep In Boys Swimming; Classics Power Past Lady Comets In Girls Meet
SCRANTON — As the swimmers from Abington Heights and Scranton Prep took to the starting blocks for the final event, the magnitude of its outcome increased as the running score of the annual rivalry meet flashed on the scoreboard. Abington Heights held a one-point lead and teams were ready to hit the water for a winner- take-all 400-yard freestyle relay showdown. Adam Vale, a sophomore, seized the lead on the second leg and the Comets earned the victory and claimed this year’s Lackawanna League battle, 86-81, Thursday night at the Byron Center on the campus of the University of Scranton. “I was a little nervous, but we needed the win to win the meet and we all swam events before and put everything we had into that last relay,” Vale said. “It felt really good. Everybody was cheering and this is a great win.” In the girls meet, Scranton Prep’s team that is a who’s who of All-Region talent, posted a 132-31 win over the Lady Comets to remain undefeated and push its league winning streak to 20 straight. “The team is very united this year and we really are all swimming for each other,” said Scranton Prep’s Abigail Bowen, who won a pair of individual events. “We feel we can have a really great season.” Abington Heights used a late push, which included a win from John Graham in the 100 backstroke and the clinching victory in the 400 free relay to move its record to 2-0. In that final race, Steven Dong, Vale, Graham and Jarred Ocwieja combined for a time of 4 minutes, 7.7 seconds. “To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t paying very close attention to the score, because any time you do that you press,” Graham said. “I had know idea that we were in striking distance. I was a little nervous, but I had a lot of confidence in our guys in that relay.” Abington Heights also got a lift from John Frantz in the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:15.05 that gave his team its first victory in an event. “It felt good, but as a captain it is much more important for me to put the team first,” said Frantz, who also contributed a second-place finish in the 500 free. “It helped pump us up as a team. I give a lot of credit to this team, because we were missing a couple of our leaders and we still came away with the win.” Then, Ocwieja picked up a win in the 100 free. His head-to-head swim against Scranton Prep freshman Ben Galko turned out to be one of the tighter races of the meet with Ocwieja clocking in at 53.43 and Galko closing at 53.67. After that outcome, Scranton Prep held a 47-46 lead. “It was huge for us and there were times when I wondered if I could pull off the win,” said Ocwieja, who added a second-place finish in the 200 free. “It was a very competitive race and that was my best time of the year, so I am really happy about that.” Abington Heights pulled into the lead for the first time after Graham’s win in the 100 back. Scranton Prep won two relays and received individual wins from freshmen Ethan Haggerty in the 200 free (2:02.57) and the 500 free and freshman Nathan Thayer, who won two races in a row, taking the 50 free (24.57) and the 100 fly (1:00.94). Joey Cholish had a strong swim as the anchor of the 200 free relay team, and muscled his way to a win in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.83) to keep Scranton Prep within 78-77 before the final race. “We have some really good freshmen and we are missing James Stanco, who is out with an injury,” Cholish said. “It was a tough meet. It was close and we gave it a very good fight.” Abington Heights 86 Scranton Prep 81 200 Medley Relay: Scranton Prep (Harrison Oven, Joey Cholish, Nathan Thayer, Ben Galko) 1:51.61, AH, SP. 200 Free: Ethan Haggerty (SP) 2:02.57, Ocwieja (AH), Dong (AH). 200 IM: John Frantz (AH) 2:15.05, Galko (SP), Seid (AH). 50 Free: Nathan Thayer (SP) 24.57, Guditus (AH), H. Oven (SP). 100 Fly: Nathan Thayer (SP) 1:00.94, Brown (AH), Dong (AH). 100 Free: Jarred Ocwieja (AH) 53.43, Galko (SP), Cholish (SP). 500 Free: Ethan Haggerty (SP) 5:30.85, Frantz (AH), Wasko (AH). 200 Free Relay: Scranton Prep (Ben Galko, Harrison Oven, Nathan Thayer, Joey Cholish) 1:40.48, AH, AH. 100 Back: John Graham (AH) 1:10.24, H. Oven (SP), G. Oven (SP). 100 Breast: Joey Cholish (SP) 1:10.83, Seid (AH), Guditus (AH). 400 Free Relay: Abington Heights (Steven Dong, Adam Vale, John Graham, Jarred Ocwieja) 4:07.07, SP, AH. Records: AH 2-0, SP 1-1. Girls swimming In addition to Bowen’s two wins, the Classics were led by their deep roster of talented swimmers. Alison Prushinski, Lauren Schofield, who competed at Abington Heights last season, and Peyton McNulty, who are all returning All-Region performers, won individual races as Scranton Prep won all 11 events. Olivia Turner, Taylor Newton and Erica Prushinski also had individual wins for the Classics. Haley Thier, McNulty, Schofield, Newton, and Alison Prushinski each contributed to two wins in the relays, while Turner and Ann Marie Ong also contributed to Scranton Prep relay wins. “It’s a great, amazing win for us,” Bowen said. Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter Scranton Prep 132 Abington Heights 31 200 Medley Relay: Scranton Prep (Peyton McNulty, Lauren Schofield, Haley Thier, Alison Prushinski) 1:52.50, SP, AH. 200 Free: Lauren Schofield (SP) 2:00.79, Newton (SP), Keisling (AH). 200 IM: Abigail Bowen (SP) 2:25.57, McCall (SP), Wrobleski (SP). 50 Free: Alison Prushinski (SP) 25.27, Brock (AH), E. Prushinski (SP). 100 Fly: Olivia Turner (SP) 1:03.46, Wrobleski (SP), Neville (SP). 100 Free: Abigail Bowen (SP) 59.38, Klaproth (SP), Powell (SP). 500 Free: Taylor Newton (SP) 5:56.35, Ong (SP), Nicholas (SP). 200 Free Relay: Scranton Prep (Haley Thier, Alison Prushinski, Ann Marie Ong, Taylor Newton) 1:48.46, AH, AH. 100 Back: Peyton McNulty (SP) 1:00.60, McCall (SP), Klaproth (SP). 100 Breast: Erica Prushinski (SP) 1:16.31, Brock (AH), McGrath (SP). 400 Free Relay: Abington Heights (Lauren Schofield, Olivia Turner, Taylor Newton, Peyton McNulty) 3:53.04, SP, AH. Records: SP 2-0, AH 1-1.